Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet has agreed to progress plans for an online digital Christmas performance, as part of this year’s ‘very different’ festive celebrations.
RCT Theatres were due to stage Dick Whittington as its traditional family pantomime this year at both the Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare, and Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy. But due to COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions, this production has now been rescheduled to December 2021.
Instead, this year, an alternative online digital production for all the family is planned, featuring the pantomime stars.
Cabinet agreed (Thursday, September 21) to the production of a virtual Christmas performance to provide RCT residents with a unique and accessible online light-entertainment performance during the forthcoming festive season.
The pre-recorded “high-energy” online production will be filmed in a closed setting, adhering to all Welsh Government Covid-19 guidance and regulations, but promises all the magic and sparkle associated with the traditional family panto.
The performance will be FREE for residents to watch, via an online YouTube link at set times from December 21 until after the final performance at 2pm on Christmas Eve. Further details on this will follow.
Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, said: “Traditionally, RCT Theatres produces a pantomime every Christmas. This is very popular with audiences and is highlight in the festive calendar.
“Unfortunately this year, due to the Covid-19 situation and restrictions, live performances in our theatres will not be possible. However, the free online Christmas offer will hopefully provide an important boost for the public at the end of a difficult and unprecedented year.
“We thank all of our customers and partners for their understanding at this time and assure all that we will be re-opening both our theatres as soon as it is safe to do so.”
RCT Theatres pride themselves on being theatre makers; creating and producing their own family pantomimes. They had already assembled their cast, built the set and made the costumes.
However, social distancing measures, which are vital for the wellbeing of cast, audiences and staff, mean that staging the live production at both theatres would be impossible this year.
Sadly, the current situation means that all events planned for the Coliseum Theatre and the Park & Dare Theatre for the foreseeable future have either been cancelled or rescheduled to next year.